Despite the fact that most travelers heading to Portugal are visiting Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, the most popular Airbnb in the country is located off the beaten path. In the past week alone, more than 500 viewers have paid attention to the Casa do Rio, situated in Viana do Castelo, one of the most beautiful municipalities in northern Portugal. Situated by a river and near the mountains, this cozy retreat offers exactly what an Airbnb tries to deliver: peace and quiet with “home away from home” comfort.
Portugal seems to be on everyone’s radar lately, winning Europe’s Leading Destination 2017 in the World Travel Awards, highlighted as an emerging destination by Travel + Leisure, and mentioned as one of the most sought-after places in 2017 by Condé Nast Traveler, just to name a few sources. The laid-back and colorful capital is welcoming more expats than ever before, especially freelancers and entrepreneurs, and Airbnb has become a top choice when looking for a place to live.
View over Viana Do Castelo, Portugal | © dinozzaver/Shutterstock
There is one Airbnb listing, however, that is catching lots of attention, but, perhaps, more for people looking to escape for a week or so. Rather than an apartment in the middle of the city, this is a villa estate surrounded by nature. The Casa do Rio, meaning House by the River, is a one-bedroomed stone cottage conveniently close to beaches, mountains, a hiking trail, and, yes, a river. To be sure, it’s a great spot for nature enthusiasts, and while it has everything most families need in terms of the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, it lacks a cable or internet connection, so guests really experience living off the grid.
In addition to exploring the Minho region, home to one of Portugal’s most stunning natural landscapes (and Vinho Verde wine), guests of the Casa do Rio may enjoy visiting northwest Spain, and the seaside city Vigo is approximately 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Viana do Castelo. Then there is the local town itself, one of the most charming and traditional in the country, that’s filled with jaw-dropping landmarks. From the serene environment to its location in Portugal’s traditional north, there is no wondering how the Casa do Rio has been added to more Airbnb wishlists than any other listing in the country.
Praca da Republica in Viana do Castelo, Portugal | © AnaMarques/Shutterstock